Typical asymmetry in the hemispheric activation during an fMRI verbal comprehension paradigm is related to better performance in verbal and non-verbal tasks in patients with epilepsy.
ABSTRACT: Chronic exposure to seizures in patients with left hemisphere (LH) epileptic focus could favor higher activation in the contralateral hemisphere during language processing, but the cognitive effects of this remain unclear. This study assesses the relationship between asymmetry in hemispheric activation during language fMRI and performance in verbal and non-verbal tasks. Whereas prior studies primarily used fMRI paradigms that favor frontal lobe activation and less prominent activation of the medial or superior temporal lobes, we used a verbal comprehension paradigm previously demonstrated to activate reliably receptive language areas. Forty-seven patients with drug-resistant epilepsy candidates for surgery underwent a multidisciplinary assessment, including a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation and an fMRI verbal comprehension paradigm. Patients were distributed in two groups depending on laterality indexes (LI): typical hemispheric asymmetry (unilateral left activation preponderance; n?=?23) and atypical hemispheric asymmetry (bilateral or unilateral right preponderance; n?=?24). Right-handedness and right hemisphere (RH) focus were significant predictors of typical asymmetry. Patients with typical activation pattern presented better performance intelligence quotient and verbal learning than patients with atypical hemispheric asymmetry (for all, p?
Project description:Background Hemispheric asymmetry in neuronal processes is a fundamental feature of the human brain and drives symptom lateralization in Parkinson's disease (PD), but its molecular determinants are unknown. Here, we identify divergent epigenetic patterns involved in hemispheric asymmetry by profiling DNA methylation in isolated prefrontal cortex neurons from control and PD brain hemispheres. DNA methylation is fine-mapped at enhancers and promoters, genome-wide, by targeted bisulfite sequencing in two independent sample cohorts. Results We find that neurons of the human prefrontal cortex exhibit hemispheric differences in DNA methylation. Hemispheric asymmetry in neuronal DNA methylation patterns is largely mediated by differential CpH methylation, and chromatin conformation analysis finds that it targets thousands of genes. With aging, there is a loss of hemispheric asymmetry in neuronal epigenomes, such that hemispheres epigenetically converge in late life. In neurons of PD patients, hemispheric asymmetry in DNA methylation is greater than in controls and involves many PD risk genes. Epigenetic, transcriptomic, and proteomic differences between PD hemispheres correspond to the lateralization of PD symptoms, with abnormalities being most prevalent in the hemisphere matched to side of symptom predominance. Hemispheric asymmetry and symptom lateralization in PD is linked to genes affecting neurodevelopment, immune activation, and synaptic transmission. PD patients with a long disease course have greater hemispheric asymmetry in neuronal epigenomes than those with a short disease course. Conclusions Hemispheric differences in epigenetic gene regulation are prevalent in neurons and may affect the progression and symptoms of PD. Overall design: In order to determine whether epigenetic divergence across hemispheres is relevant to hemispheric asymmetry in transcriptional patterns, we used RNA-sequencing to perform a transcriptional analysis in the prefrontal cortex of hemisphere of PD with known side of symptom predominance (n=36 individuals: 13 matched PD hemisphere, 11 unmatched PD hemisphere and controls n=12)
Project description:People sometimes solve problems with a unique process called insight, accompanied by an "Aha!" experience. It has long been unclear whether different cognitive and neural processes lead to insight versus noninsight solutions, or if solutions differ only in subsequent subjective feeling. Recent behavioral studies indicate distinct patterns of performance and suggest differential hemispheric involvement for insight and noninsight solutions. Subjects solved verbal problems, and after each correct solution indicated whether they solved with or without insight. We observed two objective neural correlates of insight. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (Experiment 1) revealed increased activity in the right hemisphere anterior superior temporal gyrus for insight relative to noninsight solutions. The same region was active during initial solving efforts. Scalp electroencephalogram recordings (Experiment 2) revealed a sudden burst of high-frequency (gamma-band) neural activity in the same area beginning 0.3 s prior to insight solutions. This right anterior temporal area is associated with making connections across distantly related information during comprehension. Although all problem solving relies on a largely shared cortical network, the sudden flash of insight occurs when solvers engage distinct neural and cognitive processes that allow them to see connections that previously eluded them.
Project description:To determine the areas involved in reorganization of language to the right hemisphere after early left hemisphere injury, we compared fMRI activation patterns during four production and comprehension tasks in post-surgical epilepsy patients with either left (LH) or right hemisphere (RH) speech dominance (determined by Wada testing) and healthy controls. Patient groups were carefully matched for IQ, lesion location and size. RH patients' activation across all tasks was greatest in right hemisphere areas homotopic to areas activated by LH and control participants. Differences in right vs. left dominant hemisphere activation were limited to homologous areas typically activated by language tasks, supporting the hypothesis that language localization following transfer to the RH is the mirror-image of localization in the absence of transfer. The similarity of these findings to those in patients with larger, peri-sylvian lesions suggests that these areas in both hemispheres may be uniquely predisposed to subserve various language functions.
Project description:A large number of morphology-based studies have previously reported a variety of regional abnormalities in hemispheric asymmetry in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recently, neuroimaging studies have revealed changes in the topological organization of the structural network in AD. However, little is known about the alterations in topological asymmetries. In the present study, we used diffusion tensor image tractography to construct the hemispheric brain white matter networks of 25 AD patients, 95 mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients, and 48 normal control (NC) subjects. Graph theoretical approaches were then employed to estimate hemispheric topological properties. Rightward asymmetry in both global and local network efficiencies were observed between the two hemispheres only in AD patients. The brain regions/nodes exhibiting increased rightward asymmetry in both AD and MCI patients were primarily located in the parahippocampal gyrus and cuneus. The observed rightward asymmetry was attributed to changes in the topological properties of the left hemisphere in AD patients. Finally, we found that the abnormal hemispheric asymmetries of brain network properties were significantly correlated with memory performance (Rey's Auditory Verbal Learning Test). Our findings provide new insights into the lateralized nature of hemispheric disconnectivity and highlight the potential for using hemispheric asymmetry of brain network measures as biomarkers for AD.
Project description:Background Hemispheric asymmetry in neuronal processes is a fundamental feature of the human brain and drives symptom lateralization in Parkinson's disease (PD), but its molecular determinants are unknown. Here, we identify divergent epigenetic patterns involved in hemispheric asymmetry by profiling DNA methylation in isolated prefrontal cortex neurons from control and PD brain hemispheres. DNA methylation is fine-mapped at enhancers and promoters, genome-wide, by targeted bisulfite sequencing in two independent sample cohorts. Results We find that neurons of the human prefrontal cortex exhibit hemispheric differences in DNA methylation. Hemispheric asymmetry in neuronal DNA methylation patterns is largely mediated by differential CpH methylation, and chromatin conformation analysis finds that it targets thousands of genes. With aging, there is a loss of hemispheric asymmetry in neuronal epigenomes, such that hemispheres epigenetically converge in late life. In neurons of PD patients, hemispheric asymmetry in DNA methylation is greater than in controls and involves many PD risk genes. Epigenetic, transcriptomic, and proteomic differences between PD hemispheres correspond to the lateralization of PD symptoms, with abnormalities being most prevalent in the hemisphere matched to side of symptom predominance. Hemispheric asymmetry and symptom lateralization in PD is linked to genes affecting neurodevelopment, immune activation, and synaptic transmission. PD patients with a long disease course have greater hemispheric asymmetry in neuronal epigenomes than those with a short disease course. Conclusions Hemispheric differences in epigenetic gene regulation are prevalent in neurons and may affect the progression and symptoms of PD. Overall design: To determine whether DNA methylation could contribute to hemisphere differences in neuronal function in the healthy brain and PD, we comprehensively fine-mapped DNA methylation at enhancers and promoters, genome-wide, in neurons isolated from the left and right prefrontal cortex of PD patients and controls (105 individuals: 48 healthy controls (brain hemisphere left: 25; right: 23) and 57 PD patients (brain hemisphere left: 23; right: 34)). We first isolated neuronal nuclei using an established antibody (NeuN+) and flow cytometry-based approach. We then fine-mapped DNA methylation at enhancer elements using a targeted bisulfite sequencing strategy, known as bisulfite padlock probe sequencing.
Project description:Verbal stimuli often induce right-hemispheric activation in patients with aphasia after left-hemispheric stroke. This right-hemispheric activation is commonly attributed to functional reorganization within the language system. Yet previous evidence suggests that functional activation in right-hemispheric homologues of classic left-hemispheric language areas may partly be due to processing nonlinguistic perceptual features of verbal stimuli. We used functional MRI (fMRI) to clarify the role of the right hemisphere in the perception of nonlinguistic word features in healthy individuals. Participants made perceptual, semantic, or phonological decisions on the same set of auditorily and visually presented word stimuli. Perceptual decisions required judgements about stimulus-inherent changes in font size (visual modality) or fundamental frequency contour (auditory modality). The semantic judgement required subjects to decide whether a stimulus is natural or man-made; the phonologic decision required a decision on whether a stimulus contains two or three syllables. Compared to phonologic or semantic decision, nonlinguistic perceptual decisions resulted in a stronger right-hemispheric activation. Specifically, the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), an area previously suggested to support language recovery after left-hemispheric stroke, displayed modality-independent activation during perceptual processing of word stimuli. Our findings indicate that activation of the right hemisphere during language tasks may, in some instances, be driven by a "nonlinguistic perceptual processing" mode that focuses on nonlinguistic word features. This raises the possibility that stronger activation of right inferior frontal areas during language tasks in aphasic patients with left-hemispheric stroke may at least partially reflect increased attentional focus on nonlinguistic perceptual aspects of language.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To develop a clinically applicable memory functional MRI (fMRI) method of predicting postsurgical memory outcome in individual patients.<h4>Methods</h4>In this prospective cohort study, 50 patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (23 left) and 26 controls underwent an fMRI memory encoding paradigm of words with a subsequent out-of-scanner recognition assessment. Neuropsychological assessment was performed preoperatively and 4 months after anterior temporal lobe resection, and at equal time intervals in controls. An event-related analysis was used to explore brain activations for words remembered and change in verbal memory scores 4 months after surgery was correlated with preoperative activations. Individual lateralization indices were calculated within a medial temporal and frontal region and compared with other clinical parameters (hippocampal volume, preoperative verbal memory, age at onset of epilepsy, and language lateralization) as a predictor of verbal memory outcome.<h4>Results</h4>In left temporal lobe epilepsy patients, left frontal and anterior medial temporal activations correlated significantly with greater verbal memory decline, while bilateral posterior hippocampal activation correlated with less verbal memory decline postoperatively. In a multivariate regression model, left lateralized memory lateralization index (≥0.5) within a medial temporal and frontal mask was the best predictor of verbal memory outcome after surgery in the dominant hemisphere in individual patients. Neither clinical nor functional MRI parameters predicted verbal memory decline after nondominant temporal lobe resection.<h4>Conclusion</h4>We propose a clinically applicable memory fMRI paradigm to predict postoperative verbal memory decline after surgery in the language-dominant hemisphere in individual patients.
Project description:Hemispheric asymmetry of a wide range of functions is a hallmark of the human brain. The visual system has traditionally been thought of as symmetrically distributed in the brain, but a growing body of evidence has challenged this view. Some highly specific visual tasks have been shown to depend on hemispheric specialization. However, the possible lateralization of cerebral responses to a simple checkerboard visual stimulation has not been a focus of previous studies. To investigate this, we performed two sessions of blood-oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 54 healthy subjects during stimulation with a black and white checkerboard visual stimulus. While carefully excluding possible non-physiological causes of left-to-right bias, we compared the activation of the left and the right cerebral hemispheres and related this to grey matter volume, handedness, age, gender, ocular dominance, interocular difference in visual acuity, as well as line-bisection performance. We found a general lateralization of cerebral activation towards the right hemisphere of early visual cortical areas and areas of higher-level visual processing, involved in visuospatial attention, especially in top-down (i.e., goal-oriented) attentional processing. This right hemisphere lateralization was partly, but not completely, explained by an increased grey matter volume in the right hemisphere of the early visual areas. Difference in activation of the superior parietal lobule was correlated with subject age, suggesting a shift towards the left hemisphere with increasing age. Our findings suggest a right-hemispheric dominance of these areas, which could lend support to the generally observed leftward visual attentional bias and to the left hemifield advantage for some visual perception tasks.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Laterality of brain activation is reported for tests of risk factors of addiction- impulsivity and craving-but authors rarely address the potential significance of those asymmetries.<h4>Objective</h4>The purpose of this study is to demonstrate this laterality and discuss its relevance to cognitive and neurophysiological asymmetries associated with drug abuse vulnerability in order to provide new insights for future research in drug abuse.<h4>Method</h4>From published reports, brain areas of activation for two tests of response inhibition or craving for drugs of abuse were compiled from fMRI activation peaks and were tabulated for eight sections (octants) in each hemisphere. Percent asymmetries were calculated (R-L/R+L) across studies for each area.<h4>Results</h4>For impulsivity, most activation peaks favored the right hemisphere. Overall, the percent difference was 32% (Χ2 = 16.026; p < 0.0001) with the greater asymmetry for anterior peaks (46.8%; Χ(2) = 17.329; p < 0.0001). The asymmetries for cue-induced craving were opposite, favoring the left hemisphere by 6.7% (Χ(2) = 4.028; p < 0.05). The consistency of left asymmetry was found for almost all drugs. For nicotine, studies where subjects were not allowed to smoke (deprived) prior to measurement had the same left hemisphere activation but those who smoked (satiated) before the fMRI measure showed right asymmetry.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Brain activation studies demonstrate different left/right hemispheric contributions for impulsivity versus craving-factors related to addiction. Failure to take laterality into consideration is a missed opportunity in designing studies and gaining insight into the etiology of drug abuse and pathways for treatment.